Human history is not just a source for the greatest achievements or the smartest advancements of mankind. At times it is nothing more than a ‘what not to do’ guide in the goriest and most ridiculous customs and perversities the human mind is capable of coming up with. When we look at some of the most feared and prospering ancient civilizations it’s difficult to overlook their bloodlust and tendency to slaughter their own in over-the-top rituals to appease the gods that ultimately led to their own demise.
10. The Celts
You’ve definitely got something going on when you’re known amongst your enemies for fighting butt-naked and cutting off their heads with long swords that subsequently are placed on top of chariots and in front of homes. It’s debatable what exactly prompted them to resort to such uninhibitedness on the battlefield, but whatever the reason they seemed to be very proud of their ways.
9. The Mongols
It’s not a coincidence that the Mongols were considered barbarians and savages. Even till this day the name Genghis Khan is used to describe ruthlessness and primal cruelty. They were highly skilled in archery and horse-riding and the use of a composite bow that could rip through armours made them particularly feared by their enemies. Eventually they managed to construct the largest contiguous empire in the history of mankind – from Vietnam to Hungary.
8. The Vikings
Notorious for terrorizing and pillaging through Europe, the Vikings were ferocious warriors who never shied away from battle. Their physical strength was only outmatched by their skills on the battlefield and the use of diverse weapons such as axes, swords and spears. Perhaps the only civilization whose religion was also about war, the Vikings firmly believed that all people had a purpose in this life and theirs was to fight to the death.
7. The Romans
Yes, well, we had to include this one here – especially with all the fuzz about the new season of ‘Spartacus’. Any civilization where the mob was entertained with savage gory death matches and where lust, intrigues, murder plots, serious boy-lovin’ and polygamy dominated all levels of their society, has earned the honour of rightfully being referred to as ‘seriously fucked up’. Not to mention the constant inbreeding that led to some of the most hilarious character in human history such as Caligula, Nero and Tiberius.
6. The Germans
We’re referring, of course, about Nazi Germany, which despite its short-lived history succeeded in single-handedly pissing off the rest of the world just long enough to start a Second World War. Kudos for the perseverance! With more than 4̶ ̶m̶i̶l̶l̶i̶o̶n̶ 6 million people killed in the Holocaust, that period of German history will forever be associated with some of the worst names in human history such as Dr. Joseph Mengele, Heinrich Himmler and Donald Ewen Cameron.
5. The Spartans
Despite their PG-13 portrayal by Hollywood in the movie ‘300’ that didn’t do their civilization justice, the Spartans were actually pretty hardcore. Just to get a basic understanding of their culture think about this – every single man there was a soldier. Pretty badass, huh? And if that wasn’t enough dying didn’t earn you a tombstone in those times as only the ones who perished in battle got to have their graves marked for the future generations to marvel at their heroism.
4. The Apache Tribes
Most people might be under the impression that all Native Americans gladly gave up their land, women and stock for booze and casino licenses, but this was not the case with the Apache tribes – known for their fearlessness in battle. They made up for the use of primitive weapons made from bone and stone with astounding cunning and combat skills. As a matter of fact they’re the ones who used to scalp their victims, which started the oh-so-used-in-westerns trend that’s been continuously milked by the movie industry.
3. The Maoris
The indigenous people of New Zealand had made quite a reputation for themselves by consuming virtually all unwelcomed guests until the 18th century. They believed devouring their enemies’ flesh made them stronger by acquiring their strength and combat skills. Or perhaps that was all just fluff for not owning up to the fact that humans were a [relatively] easy alternative to a mostly fish-based diet.
2. The Aztecs
Outdoing all the ancient civilizations altogether, the Aztecs are in a class of their own mainly due to all the heart-ripping, skin-removing, child-sacrificing and other generally gruesome and vile acts performed to appease the gods. In the height of their civilization roughly 20,000 people were killed annually in the rituals. Their preferred victims were children and virgins who were often terrorized before the actual ceremony because the gods liked it when they cried and were distressed. After all, nothing tastes worse than a sacrifice that doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass that they’re about to be butchered.
1. The Soviets
Before acquiring its modern-day form, Russia was known under the name of the Soviet Union and was famous for being the country who single-handedly slaughtered over 20 000 000 of its own citizens in concentration camps constructed by the communist regime for politic prisoners. During the rule of Stalin and Lenin the majority of the population lived in abject misery, being reduced to cannibalism to survive. What made the Soviet Union so terrified was that during WW2 soldiers fought against heavy German artillery only to have their own point their guns at their backs in the case of retreat. There was an official order to shoot anyone who fled the battlefield for desertion. There’s nothing like knowing that your comrades and your country have your back.